Former Formula 1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone has delivered a stinging verdict on Ferrari’s hopes of glory this season.
The Scuderia made a stunning start to the season with a one-two in Bahrain and Charles Leclerc scored his second win of the campaign in race three in Australia. But since then the Italian squad’s season has unravelled alarmingly, with poor reliability and a number of crashes, with Carlos Sainz the main culprit.
That has allowed Max Verstappen to open up a 46-point lead in the championship standings, and that is over his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who is unlikely to mount a genuine title challenge. The gap between Verstappen to Leclerc is a whopping 49 points.
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Ecclestone has been disappointed to see Ferrari’s challenge fall away, accusing them of making life too easy for world champion Verstappen.
“I hoped with many people that Ferrari would make it again after more than 14 years,” the 91-year-old told German title Blick. “Unfortunately, I have to say that anyone who continues to put their money on Ferrari or Leclerc will get nothing.
“Errors are creeping in again at Ferrari. The reliability is often reminiscent of the old days and the drivers themselves are not always confident on the road. So Max has an easy time in the Red Bull with six wins already.”
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Naturally, Leclerc is more optimistic about Ferrari’s prospects and has been talking up the team’s prospects for the upcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
“We start again at Silverstone, where we will return to aim for victory,” he said after finishing fifth on Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, having started at the back of the field after taking an engine penalty.
“The championship is still long, the gap is 49 points. Two wins and it’s done. Seriously, we have to concentrate on ourselves.”
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